Tag Archives: summer

These Easy Banana Split Cheesecake Bars Will Make Your Summer That Much Sweeter

This twist on a summertime classic is perfect for those hot summer days since it has no need for the oven to be on for hours. This nearly no-bake dessert starts with an easy vanilla cookie crust, creamy cheesecake and whipped topping. The best part is that it can be made ahead of time, so it’s ready to feed a hungry crowd in an instant. Consider this your go-to summer dessert for barbecues, potlucks and any meal that needs a cool and sweet ending.

slice-of-banana-cheesecake

Banana Split Cheesecake Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill time: 3 hours
Bake Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 16 Servings

Ingredients:
Crust
1 (312 g) box (5 cups) vanilla wafer cookies
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted

Filling
2 ¼ cups heavy cream, divided
3 ozs (93 g) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
3 (250g) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 (96g) package of instant banana cream pudding
1 cup granulated sugar

Topping
1 (1 L) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
¾ cup maraschino cherries, drained
½ cup dry roasted peanuts
2 Tbsp rainbow sprinkles

dish-of-banana-split-cheesecake

Directions:
Crust
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 13×9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
2. In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse together cookies, sugar, and salt until small crumbs remain. Pour in melted butter and pulse until combined.
3. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

Filling
1. Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat ½ cup heavy cream over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Pour over chocolate and let stand 2 minutes. Slowly stir together until combined. Let cool completely.
2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. With the mixer running, gradually add remaining 1¾ cup cream, beating until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in pudding mix until combined.
3. Spread cream cheese mixture and drizzle with chocolate sauce in alternating layers over the crust, reserving ¼ cup chocolate sauce for later use. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Topping
1. Spread whipped topping over cheesecake. Garnish with a drizzle of remaining chocolate sauce, bananas, cherries, peanuts, and sprinkles.

Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth? Try our best No-Bake Summer Desserts.

One-Pot Campfire Mac & Cheese is the Ultimate Camping Comfort Food

Mac and cheese is one of the easiest recipes to prepare, which is why it’s perfect to make on a camping trip. Perfectly al dente noodles, surrounded in creamy cheese it’s hard to improve on perfection. But the smoky, woodsy flavour from a roaring campfire takes the classic comfort food to a whole new level. This is a meal that feeds a crowd, is simple, fast and best of all, only requires the use of one pot!

Easy Campfire Mac and Cheese Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2-3

Ingredients:

2½ cups whole milk
1 cup water
2 cups macaroni noodles
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2½ cups grated cheddar cheese
½ tsp dry mustard powder
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Get your fire going or turn your grill to medium-high heat.
2. Pour milk and water into a medium pot and bring to a boil, then add the macaroni noodles and stir. Cook the noodles, stirring often, until tender, about 7 to 10 minutes.
3. Take the pot off the fire or grill and immediately stir in butter, grated cheese, mustard powder, salt and pepper. Mix well so the noodles are cheesy, gooey and delicious. Serve hot.

Looking for more camping ideas? Try our Brilliant Camping Food Hacks.

campfire-pizza

How to Make Easy Campfire Pizza in a Cast Iron Skillet

Cooking pizza over a fire adds such incredible flavour, you won’t want to make pizza in a conventional oven again. Our homemade dough is simple and fast, so there’s no “knead” to feel intimidated while quickly whipping it up near the campfire. Pizza will become your new camping staple, especially when you’re with a crowd because everyone can customize a crust with their favourite toppings. Keep it simple or go big with lots of veggies and meats – either way, this campfire pizza is a welcome addition to your backyard fire pit or camping trip.

Easy Campfire Pizza Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Pizza Dough
1 pkg rapid rise instant yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan
2½ cups spelt flour or whole wheat flour, plus more for kneading and shaping

Toppings and Assembly
⅓ cup prepared tomato sauce
1 ball buffalo (fresh) mozzarella, sliced into thin circles or 1½ cups shredded mozzarella
¼ red onion, sliced into thin circles
¼ cup black olives, pitted and sliced
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped 

Directions:

Pizza Dough
1. In a large bowl, mix the yeast in warm water and stir for 1 minute, until dissolved. Add the olive oil and flour and mix until a ball of dough comes together. Using your hands, knead the dough until a smooth ball forms. Add more flour to the bowl if the dough is too sticky.
2. Cover the bowl with a towel and let sit, preferably in a warm place, for 15 minutes.
3. Divide the dough in half and make two balls. Set one ball aside in the bowl.

Toppings and Assembly
1. Get your fire going or heat a grill to high.
2. Coat the bottom of a cast iron skillet with additional olive oil and spread 1 of the balls of dough out on the pan. Use your fingers to push the dough to the edge of the skillet and cover the bottom evenly.
3. Cook the dough on the fire for 3 to 5 minutes, until the dough forms a firm crust.
4. Remove the pan from the heat using a heatproof glove, and carefully flip the crust over.
5. Add half of all of the toppings, except basil, on the pizza and place the pan back on the fire. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. If you have lots of toppings, cover the pizza with aluminium foil to help them cook.
6. Once the first pizza is ready, take it off the pan and repeat these steps with the second half of the dough and remaining toppings. Sprinkle basil over top, slice and serve.

Planning a camping trip? Try these Brilliant Camping Food Hacks.

A Saskatoon Musician’s Easy Saskatoon Berry Jam Recipe

There is an especially fun dynamic between the two women standing in the kitchen. Musicians Alexis Normand and Allyson Reigh are two-thirds of the popular Western Canadian band, Rosie and the Riveters. The trio is made up of equally talented singers, instrumentalists and songwriters.

Being a triple threat is a feat in and of itself, of course, but being able to cook on top of that trio of skills would make Normand the quadruple threat of the talented bunch. “She’s always cooking while we’re on tour, it doesn’t matter what city we’re playing in,” says Normand’s bandmate, Reigh, as she measures sugar for the Saskatoon berry jam they’re about to make. “She’s one amazing cook.”

saskatoon-berry-jam-on-toast

It’s clear that Normand is the foodie of the group. Growing up in Saskatoon, her grandmother was an avid cook and passed down a love of the kitchen to her mother, which she has also come to embrace whether she’s at home or on the road. Her speciality? Making big batches of Saskatoon berry jam that she cans, labels and brings on tour. Family, friends and fans alike have come to love the edible keepsake that pays homage to her prairie roots.

“It’s a really hot item, people love it,” says Normand as she adds the Saskatoon berries to the pot. “It’s funny, though, because they aren’t as ‘Saskatchewan’ as you would think. I learned that after travelling across the country, that you can find Saskatoon berries in abundance [in BC and Alberta too], but there, they’re called Saskatoons. That’s where I’m from and making this jam this is a family tradition!”

Alexis-Allyson-tea-and-toast

Like most jam recipes, Normand’s family recipe for Saskatoon berry jam only calls for a few ingredients: berries (fresh or frozen, though frozen is the most easily obtained year-round), sugar and a bit of water. You can feel free to add some lemon zest or a few drops of vanilla if you’d like, but good quality Saskatoons don’t need much to make a lasting impression. “There’s always something to be said about giving someone an item that’s homemade. It’s someone’s time that they’re gifting you, really. That’s the really nice thing about it,” she says.

Related: PB&J Recipes That Will Change Your Life

One big misconception about making jam at home is that you need to make a dozen jars and can them. Normand does make big batches before she goes on tour, but her small-batch recipe is just as good, and easily lasts a couple of weeks in the fridge. “Nothing about this process is hard, but when I was younger I was under the impression that it was challenging. I think people just need to try it once,” says Normand. “You cook down the ingredients, you put it in jars, cool it down and it tastes delicious! It doesn’t get any better or easier than that, does it?”

saskatoon-jam-complete

Simple Saskatoon Berry Jam Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 3 Cups

Ingredients:

4 cups Saskatoon berries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
¼ tsp grated lemon zest (optional)
¼ tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Directions:

1. Place ingredients in a medium pot and bring to a simmer on medium-high heat.

2. Reduce to medium heat and let cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Transfer to a heat-safe container and allow to cool to room temperature.

4. Cover and place in refrigerator to use as desired. Will keep for up to 2 weeks refrigerated.

5 Fresh Portuguese Dishes to Shake up Your Summer BBQ

Spain is known for its delicious food and wine, but neighbouring Portugal rarely gets the praise they deserve for their equally tasty cuisine. Summertime is the perfect time to celebrate Portugal’s love for fresh ingredients, flavours and passion for grilling. Piri piri chicken is perhaps the most well-known barbecue recipe and rightly so, it’s very tasty. We have a great recipe for it below, but we’re really excited to introduce you to a few the lesser known classics. This summer, bring the flavours of Portugal to your table with these simple, fresh and delicious recipes.

chorizo-portuguese-chicken-bbq

How to Make Piri Piri Chicken

Piri piri chicken, the classic centrepiece of the Portuguese barbecue doesn’t need much of an introduction. It’s barbecued chicken seasoned with a spicy blend of fresh herbs, chillies and spices. Here’s how to make it: In a food processor place 8 red chillies, 6 garlic cloves, a small knob of peeled ginger, 1 Tbsp of dry oregano, 1 Tbsp. of paprika, 1/3 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup red wine vinegar. Pulse until a smooth paste form and rub all over the chicken. You can spatchcock your bird or cut it into parts. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight. Heat the grill to medium-high and cook until chicken is cooked through. Time will depend on the size of your bird. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve.

grilled-tomatoes-with-garlic

How to Make Grilled Garlic Tomatoes

Grilled garlicky tomatoes make an easy side dish. They are bold enough to stand up on their own or great stacked on grilled bread. Eat them with your chicken and let them or let ooze all over. Here’s how to do it: Mince 2 cloves of garlic and stir into 1/4 cup of olive oil. Toss about 3 cups cherry tomatoes in oil. Place tomatoes on a medium-high heated grill for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from grill and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

How to Make BBQ Grilled Bread

Having grilled bread to slather up all the delicious sauces and juices from your barbecue feast is necessary. We top it with a delicious aioli inspired by the classic flavours in Portugal. To make grilled bread with garlic aioli: Mix 1 cup of mayonnaise with 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley and 1 tsp smoked paprika. Brush slices of sourdough bread with olive oil. Grill until charred then slather with mayonnaise mixture! Serve alongside your main or eat on it own.

grilled sardines

How to Make Grilled Sardines

With the Atlantic ocean hugging Portugal top to bottom, it’s no surprise that they’re regarded for their fresh seafood. Simple and delicious, grilled sardines are a Portuguese staple. To make them: Rub cleaned sardines with olive oil and salt. Cook over a medium-high heated grill until charred and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from grill. Garnish with thinly sliced red onions and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

grilled-bbq-chorizo-and-peppers

How to Grill Chorizo Sausage with Peppers

Chorizo sausage is among the most prevalent in Portugal. It’s usually found in a traditional soup called clad verde. Here we grill it with a rainbow of peppers for the summertime. Here’s how: Slice 2 cups worth of assorted bell peppers. Cook 5 chorizo sausage over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Toss peppers in olive oil, salt and minced garlic. Place on grill until fragrant and tender, about 2 minutes. Place grilled chorizo on a plate and garnish with grilled peppers.

Looking for more great grilled dishes? Try Bobby Flay’s Best BBQ Recipes.

campfire-nachoes-with-cheese

These Campfire Nachos Are the Ultimate Camping Snack

This crowd-pleasing appetizer shouldn’t be reserved exclusively for game day, it also makes a fabulous summertime camping recipe, whether you’re in the backyard or deep in the woods. This is a one-pot wonder recipe where all ingredients are cooked together in a single dish, which then doubles as the serving platter, making for ultra-easy cleanup. If your campfire is in the backyard, we recommend using a cast iron skillet, but if you’re really roughing it, a disposable aluminium pan will do the trick.

Campfire Nachos Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2-3

Ingredients:

Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
1 cup tomatoes, diced
½ bag tortilla chips
1 (14 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 green onions, sliced
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
½ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
½ lime, for serving

Directions:

1. Make your fire or heat your grill or burner to medium-high, and place on your cast iron or aluminium pan. Add a splash of olive oil when the pan is hot.
2. Evenly distribute ½ cup of the diced tomatoes into the pan, followed by ½ of the tortilla chips, ½ cup of the black beans, ½ cup of the grated cheese, ¼ cup of the diced tomatoes and ¼ of the sliced green onions on top.
3. Repeat all layers again until remaining ingredients have been used, except for the avocado, cilantro and lime.
4. Cover the pan with aluminium foil and let cook for 10 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
5. Remove from heat, uncover, top with diced avocado, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

Planning a camping trip? Try these Brilliant Camping Food Hacks.

Mint on kitchen countertop

Top 5 Foods That Prevent Bloating

Summer is the time to indulge; steak, ice cream, cookies, burgers, pizza — the list goes on! Not only is it everyone’s favourite eating season, but it’s also the time when our tummies start to ache. Luckily there are some foods to help with bloating and prevent that post-meal slump.

1. Ginger
Ginger is your belly’s new best friend. Slice it up and throw it in some hot water, toss it into an iced beverage or simply chew on a piece. Ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory and has been used for centuries as a digestive aid helping to alleviate gas, bloating, nausea and indigestion. Next time you start to feel the bloat coming on, grab some ginger and melt that digestion tension away.

2. Mint
Mint is a classic summer herb. Although it is often used to make summer-time mojitos, this fresh garden herb has medicinal properties. Mint actually has muscle-relaxing abilities and can reduce indigestion and belly spasms. The best use of mint to prevent bloating is to steep it in tea. Unfortunately, drinking it with alcohol may actually exacerbate your stomach pain, so try to decrease your intake those delicious minty drinks.

Mint on kitchen countertop

3. Fennel Seed
Similar to ginger, fennel or anise seed has been used for many, many years to prevent digestive issues like bloating. In India, many people actually chew on fennel seeds after a rich meal to aid digestion. Fennel seed will also freshen up your breath, while eliminating stomach cramping, gas and bloating.

Related: Curative, Immune-Boosting Foods, Featuring Vitamin C to Magnesium

4. Lemon
When your tummy needs aid, make lemonade! Adding ginger, mint or even lavender to lemonade will help to enhance your digestive ability and prevent bloating and pain. Lemons actually stimulate digestive juices in your body, enhancing your body’s ability to digest nutrients. Don’t feel like making this sweet summer drink? Squeeze one quarter of a lemon in a glass of water and drink up!

5. Parsley
Parsley is the most commonly used herb in cooking. It is also a diuretic (helps to increase the loss of water and salt from the body) and excellent for helping to prevent and overcome gas and bloating. Steeping parsley with your tea is the best way to eliminate bloating and reduce excess water weight. For an added bonus, it will also freshen up your breath.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Published July 23, 2015, Updated July 3, 2018

460x307-winning-butter-tarts

Meet the Winning Bakers of Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival

It was the sweetest day of the year for Diane Rogers. The baker and owner of Doo Doo’s Bakery in Bailieboro, Ont. took home not just one, but the three top prizes at Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival, held in Midland on June 9.

The award-winning baker beat out more than 60 competitors to win first place in both the professional traditional and fusion competitions, plus took home ‘Best in Show’ with her stunning strawberry-rhubarb butter tarts. The annual one-day festival, which is a butter tart lover’s dream come true, saw more than 60,000 people descend on the town of Midland, eager to satisfy their sweet tooths. Not only is this a chance to taste tarts from the best bakeries, it is home to the ultimate annual baking competition. The top professional and home bakers enjoy the sweet taste of butter tart baking victory.

diane Rogers

Diane Rogers of Doo Doo’s Bakery took home three of the top prizes in Midland’s Best Butter Tart Festival on Saturday, June 9, 2018. Photo by David Hill.
Photo by Rodrigo Moreno

And Rogers is one of them. In 2016, she swept the professional, non-classic category, taking home first, second and third prize with her tarts. Yet, despite the accolades, the award-winning baker wasn’t confident that she’d bake a winning batch this year. Doo Doo’s placed 12th in last year’s competition, which had Rogers wondering how her tarts really measured up.

After going back to the drawing board, Doo Doo’s reclaimed its title and more this year. The classic, plain butter tart is simple, but judges found it to be simply the best.

“I’m a purist,” the self-taught baker said. “I like them plain.”

Rogers used the classic pastry and perfectly sticky-sweet tarts as a launching pad for the creation that earned her both top prize in the fusion category, plus Best in Show. Taking advantage of fresh strawberries and seasonal rhubarb, Rogers baked the award-winning batch at midnight the night before the competition.

“I’ve kind of got a knack for pairing flavours with butter tart filling,” Rogers said. “We’re always experimenting in our kitchen – even down to the last minute.”

best in show midland butter tart festival

The Winner of Best in Show at Midland’s Best Butter Tart Festival, Saturday, June 9, 2018. Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Butter Tart from Doo Doo’s Bakery in Bailieboro, Ont. Photo by Rodrigo Moreno.

The sweet and tangy tart was so good,  that as soon as the judging ended, a crowd descended on her booth before Rogers even heard that they’d won.

“I call it Butter Tart Christmas because that really is what it is,” she said. “It was fun, it is always lots of fun.”

While the winning strawberry-rhubarb creation wasn’t among the thousands of tarts Doo Doo’s sold that weekend,  fans can taste the award-winning tart at their bakery and cafe. Butter tart lovers can also seek them out at the Cobourg Farmers’ Market and the Peterborough Market.

While Rogers has had years of competition under her belt, Tonya Louks thought the festival would just be a fun weekend away. The amateur baker from Welland, Ont. is usually one to shy away from the spotlight, which is why she never expected to be crowned champ of the traditional amateur competition on Saturday.

“I thought I didn’t have a chance, but you just never know,” said Louks, who has been making butter tarts for her family for years. Armed with a family-filling recipe passed down from her husband’s great-great-grandmother, she’s perfected her thin, flaky crust and studded her tarts with raisins for a mouthwatering treat her family raves about.

Tonya-Louks-butter-tart

Amateur baker Tonya Louks’ award-winning traditional butter tart. Photo by Rodrigo Moreno.

“My family kept bugging me to enter and I said ‘you are all biased,’” said Louks, who relented after her family insisted she share her tarts with the world. Even though she made it through the first round of the competition with ease, she was worried how her thin crust would stand up against the competition, who had thicker pastries.

“You never know what the judges are going to like or not like,” said Louks, who was excited to see The Baker Sisters as part of the judging panel.

With the surprise win under her belt, Louks is already getting requests from friends and family, who want a bite of her award-winning treats. While she isn’t taking orders, she’s definitely taking inspiration from this year’s winners and from the variety of tarts available at the festival, including some impressive gluten-free tarts and ‘puptarts’ she brought home for her dog.

Looking to try some tasty tarts? Hit the road this summer and discover 10 Butter Tart Spots to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

The Ultimate Strawberry Rhubarb Pie for Canada Day

Every year July 1st, I catch some of the festivities of the Canada Day celebration in my city. They have a large open fire salmon barbecue at the centre of the festival grounds surrounded by many vendors selling lemonade, fresh kettle corn and cotton candy. My favourite part of the festivities is the pie-by-the-slice fundraiser inside the local community centre.

There’s always quite a large selection; pies made with plump local blueberries or Okanagan peaches are always popular choices. But my go-to has always been the strawberry-rhubarb. There’s just something so irresistible about the combination of the sweet and tangy pink filling and the (optional but mandatory) à la mode, that keeps me going back year-after-year. So here’s an ode to my favourite July 1st treat, with an added Canada Day-inspired touch.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Canada Day Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Makes: One double crust 9-inch pie

Ingredients:
Crust:
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 cup cold butter, unsalted, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup cold water
4 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 cup ice

Egg Wash:
1 egg
Coarse sugar

Filling:
5 cups chopped rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 cups strawberries, halved
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup cornstarch

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Directions:

Crust:
1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt and sugar. Set aside.
2. Add the butter pieces and coat with the flour mixture using a bench scraper or spatula. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-size pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are okay!).
3. Combine the water, cider vinegar and ice in a small bowl.
4. Add 2 Tbsp of the liquid mixture over the flour mixture. Mix and cut it in with bench scraper or spatula until fully incorporated. Continue adding the liquid, 1-2 Tbsp at a time. Mix until the dough comes together in a ball.
5. Shape the dough into 2 flat discs, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Filling:
1. Prepare the rhubarb and strawberries. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon and cornstarch.
3. Toss together the fruit and dry mixture. Add lemon juice and combine.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Assembly and Baking:
1. Once the dough has chilled, roll out the dough in between two sheets of parchment and fit it on the pie plate.
2. Line pie pan with rolled out bottom crust.
3. Roll out top crust. Using a maple leaf-shaped cutter, punch out maple leaves into the rolled out top crust. Save all the maple leaf cut outs to use for decorating the edge of the pie.

4. Pour filling into the bottom crust, leaving behind any excess liquid from filling.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

5. Gently place on top crust. Take the reserved maple leaf cut outs to create a border around the pie.

6. Coat top crust with a simple egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Place pie on a baking sheet before putting it in the oven, just in case any juices bubble over.
7. Bake at 425°F for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown. Lower the oven temperature to 375°F and continue to bake until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling throughout, 35 to 40 minutes longer.
8. If the top crust is starting to get a little dark too quickly, place a pie shield on the pie.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

9. Once ready, let pie set for at least 1 hour before cutting into it. Serve as is or with a big scoop of ice cream.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Looking for more inspiration? Try our 60 Great Canadian Recipes.

Watch this video to get Anna Olson’s top tips on baking fruit pies.

10 Perfect Red and White Drinks for Canada Day

If you plan on throwing the ultimate Canada Day bash, you might be stumped as to what to serve when it comes to drinks. With the exception of domestic beer, it can be difficult to think of “Canadian” drink recipes — besides the Caesar of course. Spice up your drink menu by incorporating these red and white cocktails your guests are sure to love.

strawberry-sour

1. Strawberry Sour

Start your Canada Day bash right with this gorgeous red and white cocktail from Chef David Hawksworth. Nothing says summer like strawberries!

cranberry-kir-royale

2. Cranberry Kir Royale

Tyler Florence combines frozen cranberries, orange juice and Champagne for the ultimate summer drink. Bring

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3. Shuggie

Why is this drink called a Shuggie? Your guess is as good as ours, but we’re certain you and your guests will love this rum-based cocktail infused with rhubarb, ginger, lime and Thai basil flavours.

citrus-berry-spritz

4. Citrus Berry Spritz

This sweet fizzy drink from Giada De Laurentiis is filled with berry ice cubes and a hint of mint for freshness.

WATERMELON-­STRAWBERRY SANGRIA, Bobby Flay, Barbecue Addiction: Bobby’sBasics/Bobby’s Basics: Simply Skewers, Food Network, Watermelon, Strawberries, RoseWine, Vodka, Orange Juice, Orange Liqueur, Orange, Lime

5. Watermelon Strawberry Sangria

Bobby Flay’s sweet, citrus-infused summer drink is ideal for a party or get-together with friends.

lava-flow-mocktail

6. Lava Flow Mocktail

What’s more Canadian than the combination of red and white? These sweet dessert-worthy drinks start with a base of raspberry purée, then a milky topping, a generous amount of whipped cream and finished with sugared frozen raspberries on top. Don’t forget to rim the glasses with red-coloured sugar!

rum-punch

7. Rum Punch

Try this refreshing booze-infused punch filled with tropical flavours and Jamaican white rum from Bobby Flay.

Cranberry-Mojito

8. Cranberry Mojito

To keep with the red and white theme, don’t forget to serve this fizzy bevvy with floating cranberries and fresh, muddled mint leaves.

watermelon-martinis

9. Watermelon Martinis

Sure to quench your summertime thirst, Bobby’s fruity martini is loaded with tons of fresh watermelon and melon liquor for the utmost melon flavour.

Classic Canadian Caesar
10. Classic Canadian Caesar

The ultimate Canadian drink — thanks to our nation’s love of Clamato juice. This classic drink is a must-have for any Canada Day celebration. This version adds fresh sage and lime for a fresh new twist.

Looking for more recipes for your party? Try these Great Canadian Desserts.

French-Toast-Bake

How to Master Cottage Meal Planning Like a Pro

When it comes to the dog days of summer, all we want is a little R&R at the cottage. And, of course, we want to eat well while we’re there, but who has time to slave over a hot stove when that gorgeous lakeside dock and campfire are calling? Take the hassle out of hustling to the cabin with these easy ideas for cottage meal planning that will have you relaxing and enjoying delicious dishes, from morning to night, in no time at all.

Map Out Your Staples

Some people are all about breakfasts and brunch, while others like to nibble in the morning and then enjoy a heartier lunch. Figure out your group’s style of eating and plan around that. Maybe it’s easier to let everyone fend for themselves with some toast or cereal at breakfast, and then throw some burgers on the grill at lunch. Or if your group is a big mid-morning brunch type, plan some easy but delicious brunches that don’t require a lot of heavy lifting, like this Italian Sausage and Egg Bake, or this Blueberries and Cream French Toast Bake that only takes 10 minutes to assemble and you can do it the night before.

Figure Out Your Star Recipes

Once you’ve got your staples out of the way, then it’s time to focus on a few cottage-worthy recipes that make you salivate. Not every meal has to be a big affair, but if you can find a couple of star courses to spatter into your overall menu, you’ll definitely feel like you’re eating like royalty. Just don’t confuse slaving over a hot stove with a great meal; when looking for your star recipes, go with elevated classics that are simple to prepare, like Giada’s herb-infused Pasta Primavera, or opt for a drool-worthy, no-cook salad like the Ina Garten’s Arugula with Prosciutto and Burrata salad.

Make Friends with Make-Ahead Meals

After a breezy morning on the lake or a lazy afternoon spent dockside, what’s better than heading inside and pulling out a meal that’s already prepared? Try to plan for a few of these delicious timesaver options, especially for a quick lunch or snack. Whip up some of this one-pot Broccoli with Bow Ties and Peas or Giada’s Orzo Salad to keep in the fridge for when your hunger strikes. For dessert, it doesn’t get much cozier than this Make-Ahead Apple Crisp

Use Up Freezer Meals

We’re always looking for easy weeknight dinners at home, which means we like to prep lots of delicious freezer meals in advance. If that sounds like you, why not just bring one or two of those freezer meals up with you to the cottage? If you have a short drive, you can just pop them in the freezer when you get there, or if it’s a long haul the meal could make an easy opening-night entrée to enjoy after you’re done unpacking. No freezer meals on hand? Consider making some in advance – that way, your freezer will be stocked for when you get home too, making this one a double win!

Bring Your Slow Cooker or Instant Pot

At home, you love programming your Instant Pot or slow cooker so that you just throw a bunch of ingredients together in the morning, and then by dinner you have an awesome meal. So, what’s to stop you from doing that at the cottage? There are myriad ideas for great cottage-friendly slow cooker recipes, recipes that will have you eating well with very little actual cooking at all.

Befriend the BBQ

Who wants to spend time at the stove when you can hang out by the grill with a cold drink in your hand and good company? Barbecued meals are the essence of cottage living! Burgers and sausages are always easy options, but there’s a whole world of grilling recipes out there that take your meal to the next level, most of which are quick to whip up.

Stick to the Basics

If you’re a foodie, odds are you love tinkering around in the kitchen. But, you probably also stress over creating the perfect dish. Some of the best dishes around feature simple ingredients with bold flavours, which is the perfect mandate for cottage living. If it sounds like an easy weeknight dinner you’d try at home, odds are it’s perfect cottage fare too. For something elegant yet simple, this Garlicky Grilled Chicken, Portobello and Radicchio Salad from Tyler Florence boasts that leftovers make great sandwiches for lunch tomorrow, too.

Stock Up on Snacks

One of our favourite things about the cottage is sitting back and enjoying tons of food! That means snacks, snacks and more snacks. And while we love reaching for a bag of chips or digging into an array of pre-cut veggies, don’t underestimate the power of a delicious but simple dip. This Honey Yogurt Dip is always a winner. Or, if you want something with a little more oomph, try Michael Smith’s Avocado Corn Guacamole. Feeling something a little sweeter? Whip up some Power Squares or some (healthy!) No-Bake Chocolate Crunch Brownies if you need a boost before climbing in the canoe, or stir up this addictive, easy, Canadiana-inspired Saltine Cracker Toffee with a Butter Tart Twist.

watermelon-strawberry-sangria

Don’t Forget the Drinks

If you’re eating well, you might as well be drinking well. When it comes to staples, you’re going to want to bring water, wine, beer and juice. But why not add some cottage-inspired beverages for a treat? We’re fans of Bobby Flay’s Watermelon-Strawberry Sangria and this thirst-quenching pitcher of Spiced Maple Iced Tea.

Make a Grocery List

Once you’ve decided on all of the great food you’re going to nosh on during your cottage week or weekend away, then it’s time to put together a grocery list. No one wants to have to make a trip to town when you run out of an ingredient, especially not when there’s a beautiful lake waiting for you.

Co-ordinate Meal Planning with Guests

Want to make meal planning even simpler? Get everyone involved. If you’re heading to the cottage with friends or other families, split up that grocery list or have certain people in charge of different meals – just make sure someone is on duty to make these Peanut S’mores Magic Bars. Sharing is caring, especially when it comes to everyone enjoying some time away together with good views and good food.

So what are you waiting for? Get planning already! Here are 40 cottage-friendly make-ahead dishes to get you going. 

trail-mix-in-a-bowl

Snacking Just Got a Little More Canadian with Butter Tart Trail Mix

Cottage canoe rides, road trips, relaxed barbecues and outdoor summer concerts all have one thing in common: they’re better with snacks! We’ve come up with a healthy staple trail mix that takes less than 5 minutes to make, along with a few fun Canadian twists to tickle your fancy and tantalize those taste buds, no matter where the summer takes you. Get out there and hike, paddle, cruise, grill and sway to your heart’s content – we’ll bring the snacks

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Basic Canadian Trail Mix Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Makes: 3½ cups

Ingredients:

1 cup roasted salted or unsalted almonds
1 cup roasted salted or unsalted cashews
½ cup roasted salted or unsalted sunflower seeds
½ cup roasted salted or unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
½ cup dried cherries

Directions:

1. Mix together almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pepitas and cherries. Serve. Store airtight at room temperature, up to 1 month.  

nanaimo-bar-trail-mix

Take all your favourite flavours of Nanaimo bars into the woods with you by making some chocolatey trail mix. Not a fan of coconut? Our original trail mix is simply satisfying.

Nanaimo Bar Trail Mix Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Makes: 4 cups

Ingredients:

1 cup roasted  walnuts halves
1 cup toasted, shaved coconut
¾ cup dark chocolate chunks
½ cup roasted salted or unsalted cashews
¼ cup roasted salted or unsalted sunflower seeds
¼ cup roasted salted or unsalted pepitas
¼ cup dried cherries   

Directions:

1. Mix together walnuts, coconut, chocolate, cashews, sunflower seeds, pepitas and cherries. Serve. Store airtight at room temperature, up to 1 month.  

butter-tart-trail-mix

The choice is yours: candied pecans or candied bacon? There’s no wrong answer! Both our tasty butter tart trail mix and sweet and savoury bacon mix are satisfying.

Butter Tart Trail Mix Recipes

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Cooling Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 3½ cups

Ingredients:

¼ cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp water
2 tsp salted or unsalted butter
1 cup pecans
1 cup roasted salted or unsalted cashews
½ cup roasted salted or unsalted sunflower seeds
½ cup roasted salted or unsalted pepitas
½ cup raisins

Directions:

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

2. Melt brown sugar, water and butter in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add pecans and cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture foams and the pan starts to look dry, about 5 minutes. Spoon onto prepared sheet and cool completely, about 10 minutes.

3. Mix together candied pecans, cashews, sunflower seeds, pepitas and raisins. Serve. Store airtight at room temperature, up to 1 month. 

Candied Bacon Trail Mix Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Cooling Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Makes: 4 cups

Ingredients:

6 strips bacon
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 cup roasted salted or unsalted almonds
1 cup roasted salted or unsalted cashews
½ cup roasted salted or unsalted sunflower seeds
½ cup roasted salted or unsalted pepitas
½ cup dried cherries   

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Fit a rimmed baking sheet with a cooling rack. Spray rack with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Place bacon in a shallow dish and sprinkle with brown sugar, turn to coat, pressing sugar onto bacon to adhere. Place on prepared cooling rack on baking sheet and bake 20 to 25 min, or until golden and crispy. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, crumble or roughly chop.

3. Mix together almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pepitas, cherries and bacon. Serve immediately.

More bites this way with our Best Road Trip Snacks made for traffic jams and car singalongs.

chicken-marinade

5 Make-Ahead Chicken Marinades You Can Freeze Now and BBQ Later

One of the very best things about summer eating is the effortless cooking. And a smart way to make summer cooking simple while keeping it interesting is to marinate chicken and pop it in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat, just defrost the package of your choice and toss it on the grill. To get you started, we’re giving you 5 unique, quick-to-prepare marinade options for a freezer full of winning chicken dinners. 

How to Marinade and Freeze Chicken for the BBQ

The following marinades are great with chicken breasts, thighs, drumsticks and wings. All you need to do is whisk or blend the ingredients listed together, toss them with 1 lb of your favourite chicken directly in an airtight zipper bag, seal and store in the freezer for up to two months. Set in the fridge the night before to defrost and voila: a tasty, weekend-worthy barbecue is possible on even the most hectic weeknight!

Greek Chicken Marinade Recipe

Inspired by fresh Greek flavours, this chicken marinade comes packed with flavour, and is best served with tender veggies, grains or potatoes and a generous sprinkling of crumbled feta.

Whisk to combine ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil with 2 Tbsp each chopped fresh oregano, sun-dried tomatoes and lemon juice, 4 cloves minced garlic and salt and ground black pepper to taste.

Sesame-Orange Chicken Marinade Recipe

Sweet with a bit of heat is all it takes to make this irresistible, Asian-inspired marinade. Whisk to combine 3 Tbsp orange juice, 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, 1 Tbsp sesame oil, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 3 cloves minced garlic, ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes and ground black pepper to taste.

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Green Goddess Chicken Marinade Recipe

A super-easy, garden herb marinade that brings tons of fresh, summery flavour. In a blender or food processor, blend ½ cup each chopped fresh parsley and chopped fresh cilantro leaves (with their tender stems), 4 chopped green onions, ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 cloves garlic and salt and ground black pepper to taste.

Sticky BBQ Chicken  Marinade Recipe

So sweet and sticky, you’ll have trouble not licking your fingers! Whisk to combine 3 Tbsp maple syrup, 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, 1 Tbsp tomato paste, 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 tsp hot sauce, 2 cloves minced garlic and salt and ground black pepper to taste.

Honey-Sriracha Chicken Marinade Recipe

The ubiquitous hot pepper sauce strikes again with a homemade chicken marinade made for the BBQ. Stir together 2 Tbsp each Sriracha hot sauce, honey and vegetable oil with 1 tsp garlic powder and salt and ground black pepper to taste.

Every BBQ needs an ice-cold beverage, so here are a handful of fruit-filled sangria recipes to take on that role.

The Boozy History of the Caesar Cocktail

Spiking a vodka and tomato juice with clam essence is cocktail bliss for Caesar-swilling Canucks, but the combination in this oh-so-Canadian cocktail wasn’t always so obvious. In fact, according to Alberta researchers, it took months for Calgary bartender and Caesar inventor Walter Chell to hit the perfect proportions.

A mixologist at the Calgary Inn before mixologist was a title, Walter was tasked with creating a cocktail to celebrate the 1969 opening of the inn’s new restaurant, Marco’s Italian. Inspired by his favourite Italian dish, spaghetti vongole, Chell set out to create a cocktail that would capture the pasta’s hearty clam and tomato flavours.

Three Caesar cocktails on wood countertop

Eventually he came up with the recipe Canadians have come to love: vodka mixed with clam-infused tomato juice, lime, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce, with a delicious celery salt rim. If we’re being honest (and after a few Caesars, who can lie?), the thought of a clam-based cocktail is a little strange — even for those of us who know how good it is. But surprisingly, Walter Chell wasn’t the first to come up with the concept. As Michael Platt notes in an article for the Calgary Sun, a 1900 copy of Modern American Drinks contains a recipe for a clam juice cocktail, as does a 1951 Betty Crocker cookbook. “So then what did Calgary’s beloved father of the Caesar really do?” asks Platt. “That’s like asking what Henry Ford did for the motor car or The Beatles did for music.”

Simply put, Chell perfected the recipe, taking it from clammy outlier to a red hot hit. Soon after, Mott’s beverage company released what is arguably the world’s best-known clam-infused tomato juice, Clamato.

Related: Sensational Canadian Cocktails

Chell invented the Caesar, but widespread distribution of Clamato brought it to homes and bars across the country. According to an Ipsos-Reid poll commissioned by the company in 2009, the Caesar or Bloody Caesar, is the most popular cocktail in Canada; Mott’s estimates that more than 350 million are consumed each year.

But beyond the occasional American article praising the “Canadian Bloody Mary,” Chell’s blend of sweet, salty, sour, spicy and bitter notes hasn’t gotten much love beyond our borders. Never mind — here, it’s not only a source of pride, but it’s a symbol of Canada’s changing demography and Canadians’ expanding palates.

Modern variations reflect international influences, substituting or enhancing British Worcestershire sauce with horseradish, wasabi, kimchi, chipotle, sriracha, teriyaki, tandoori, jerk spice, Dijon mustard or any number of flavours. A staple at Canada Day celebrations and weekend brunches and a drink as red as our flag, the Caesar is a cocktail that can rightly claim that it came, it quenched, and it conquered Canada.

Craving a Caesar? Learn how to make these tasty cocktail garnishes.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

green goddess dressing feature image

A Classic Green Goddess Dressing That Goes on Everything

Salad dressings don’t usually get their start on the stage, except for the classic Green Goddess, that is. Created in 1923 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, this verdant dressing was made to celebrate a stage production of the same name. Unbeknownst to the creator at the time, the simple blend of mayonnaise, fresh herbs and anchovies would become a staple in North America throughout the 20th century. The best part of this particular salad dressing, aside from its amazing deity-provoking name, is its remarkable versatility. Its first calling may be to tenderly coat greens, but try serving it alongside grilled chicken, steaks and pork or with roasted potatoes and cauliflower. The list of uses runs longer than the dressing’s history. Without further ado, here’s how to make the famous Green Goddess dressing at home and our favourite salad to serve it with.

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Classic Green Goddess Dressing

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1½ cups

Ingredients:

¼ cup fresh tarragon leaves
¼ cup fresh chervil leaves
¼ cup fresh chives, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
5 anchovy fillets
Juice of 1 lemon (about ¼ cup)
⅔ cup mayonnaise
⅔ cup sour cream
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
⅛ tsp salt

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Directions:

1. In a food processor or blender, add tarragon, chervil, chives, garlic, anchovies and lemon juice. Blend until a thick paste forms. Pulse in remaining ingredients and blend until full combined and pastel green in colour. Store airtight in refrigerator up to days.

Tip: Ripe avocado adds creaminess to a Green Goddess dressing, typically in lieu of mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt, and is an especially ideal substitute when egg or dairy allergies or are involved or those following a vegan diet.

Related: Homemade Salad Dressings and Vinaigrettes

Tip: Many Green Goddess recipes call for parsley instead of, or in addition to, chervil. Although chervil looks similar to parsley, the taste and texture of the fresh herbs are quite different. Chervil has a more subdued, fresher taste compared to that of parsley and boasts somewhat of a licorice flavour, similar to fennel. Find chervil at specialty grocers, farmers’ markets or your own backyard.

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Roast Chicken, Almond and Currant Salad With Green Goddess Dressing

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Rest Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Servings: 4 to 5

Ingredients:

Roast Chicken
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 cup raw almonds
⅛ tsp salt
⅛ tsp ground black pepper, to taste

Currants
1 cup dried currants 
⅔ cup water
⅓ cup apple cider vinegar

Salad
6 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
6 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 avocados, pitted and flesh cubed
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
Classic Green Goddess Dressing, as needed (recipe above)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Add chicken to a baking dish and roast until skin is crispy and interior is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate to cool. Once chicken is cool, remove skin and separate meat from bones into bite-sized pieces. Discard skin and bones or save for use in another recipe. Reserve meat.

2. Place almonds into same baking dish (containing chicken drippings), season with salt and pepper and return to 400ºF oven. Roast almonds for 10 minutes, or until fragrant and beginning to brown. Transfer almonds to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess fat. Once cool, roughly chop almonds. Reserve almonds.

3. Add currants to a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring water and vinegar to a simmer and pour over currant. Let sit for 10 minutes, strain and reserve currants.

4. In a large bowl, add lettuce, celery, avocado, tomatoes, cheese, chicken and currants. Add dressing to coat lettuce mixture and gently toss. Transfer salad to a serving platter, top with almonds and serve.

greengoddess_salad

Pesto

5 Pesto Recipes to Preserve That Garden-Fresh Flavour

It’s the end of summer, and gardens around the country are overflowing with beautiful, aromatic herbs. While this bountiful news is very welcome for flavour-craving home cooks, it can also be a little daunting. One can only garnish so many pizzas with fresh basil, and there’s a limit to the amount of tacos one can top with cilantro. But don’t let those gorgeous greens go to waste; instead, make pesto.

From classic basil-pine nut to a more modern kale-walnut creation, there are countless pesto possibilities and combinations to inspire new dishes and brighten up old favourites.

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Classic Basil Pesto
In a food processor, blend 2 cups packed fresh basil, 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil and salt, to taste. Continue to blend until a thick, green paste forms.

 Parsley and Pistachio Pesto
In a food processor, blend 1 1/2 cups packed fresh parsley leaves, 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives, 1/3 cup pistachios, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil and salt, to taste. Continue to blend until a thick, green paste forms.

Cilantro, Mint and Pumpkin Seed Pesto
In a food processor, blend 1 cup packed fresh cilantro (including tender stems), 1 cup packed fresh mint leaves, 1/2 cup toasted unsalted pumpkin seeds, 1/3 sliced green onion, the zest and juice of 1 lime, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil and salt, to taste. Continue to blend until a thick, green paste forms.

Arugula and Almond Pesto
In a food processor, blend 2 cups packed baby arugula, 1/2 cup toasted almonds, zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil and salt, to taste. Continue to blend until a thick, green paste forms.

kale-pesto

Kale and Walnut Pesto
In a food processor, blend 11/2 cups packed green kale leaves including ribs, tough ends discarded, 1/2 cup packed fresh parsley leaves, 1/2 cup Asiago cheese, 1/3 cup toasted walnuts, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil and salt, to taste. Continue to blend until a thick, green paste forms.

How To Store Pesto
Store pesto airtight in the refrigerator with a thin layer of olive oil over top to avoid oxidation and preserve that vibrant green colour. Or, spoon into an ice cube tray and freeze; pop out pesto “ice cubes” and store in a zip-top bag for portioned use throughout the fall and winter.

How To Enjoy Your Resh Pesto
– Mix pesto with your favourite vinegar to create an herbaceous salad dressing
– Mix pesto with mayonnaise to create a herby dipping sauce for kebabs, vegetables and chips
– Spread pesto onto sandwiches, burger buns or avocado toast
– Dress warm or cold pasta with pesto for a vibrant pasta dinner or lunchtime pasta salad
– Add a pop of freshness to soups and stews with a dollop of pesto on top
– Mix pesto with cream cheese for a fresh bagel topper
– Mix pesto into quiches, frittatas or spoon into omelettes

While you have the food processor out, try your hand at a few more pesto variations.

Cocktail-Popsicles-feature-image

Chill Out with Delicious DIY Cocktail Popsicles

Your summertime cocktail hour just got a lot more fun – and refreshing – thanks to these cool adults-only boozy pops. From Strawberry-Aperol, made with summertime berries, to an herbaceous Cucumber-Gin and a marmalade-infused Orange-Negroni, you’re bound to find your preferred tipple in one of these flavours. While it is tempting to add more alcohol, resist the urge; these won’t fully freeze if you’re overly generous.

Cocktail-Popsicles-holiding-summer

Strawberry-Aperol Cocktail Popsicles

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Freeze Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
Makes: 4 cocktail popsicles

Ingredients:
1 cup water
6 medium fresh strawberries, hulled
1½ oz Aperol or Campari
1½ oz ice wine
2 Tbsp granulated sugar

Directions:
1. Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. Tap blender container to remove air bubbles. Fill popsicle mould, place in sticks and freeze until completely frozen, at least 8 hours. Remove from mould and enjoy.

Cocktail-Popsicles

Cucumber-Gin Cocktail Popsicles

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Freeze Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
Makes: 4 cocktail popsicles

Ingredients:
1 cup water
½ cup roughly chopped English cucumber
2 oz gin
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp lime juice

Directions:
1. Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. Tap blender container to remove air bubbles. Fill popsicle mould, place in sticks and freeze until completely frozen, at least 8 hours. Remove from mould and enjoy.

Orange-Negroni-pops

Orange-Negroni Cocktail Popsicles

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Freeze Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
Makes: 4 cocktail popsicles

Ingredients:
1 cup water
2 oz Campari or Aperol
2 oz sweet vermouth
1½ oz gin
4 Tbsp high-quality orange marmalade

Directions:
1. Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. Tap blender container to remove air bubbles. Fill popsicle mould, place in sticks and freeze until completely frozen, at least 8 hours. Remove from mould and enjoy.

Cocktail Popsicles - Birdseye

Looking for more delightful summer drinks? Try one of our 30 Cocktails to Keep You Cool This Summer.

Fruit Bruschetta

Fresh, Fruity Bruschetta to Sweeten Your Summer

Bruschetta is a crunchy Italian appetizer that celebrates summertime tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic and olive oil, all of which is spooned over crispy, toasted bread. With all of that goodness packed into one bite, it’s no wonder it’s so popular!

While tomatoes are lovely, the concept of bruschetta is open to interpretation. Instead of the standard tomatoes, we put some of summer’s best stone fruit in the spotlight, creating three scrumptious, tomato-free bruschetta using peaches, cherries and apricots. Enjoy one, two or all three of these sweet-meets-savoury creations for a bright, stunningly beautiful alternative to typical tomatoes.

peach-bruschetta

Peach and Radish Bruschetta
Thinly slice 2 ripe peaches and place in a medium bowl with 2 thinly sliced radishes, 1 Tbsp thinly sliced green onion and 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves. Toss in 1 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix and let peach mixture stand for 10 minutes. Garnish toasted crostini with peach mixture and serve immediately. Makes 8 to 10.

cherry-bruschetta

Cherry and Chive Bruschetta
Pit and slice 2 cups cherries and place in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup minced fresh chives, 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix and let cherry mixture stand for 10 minutes. Smear extra-smooth ricotta on toasted crostini and top with cherry mixture, spooning over residual cherry juices. Serve immediately. Makes 8 to 10.

Apricot-Basil

Apricot and Basil Bruschetta
Slice 2 cups ripe apricots and place in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup sliced red onion and 1/4 cup finely chopped basil. In a small bowl whisk 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar with 2 Tbsp apricot jam and microwave for 30 seconds. Toss apricot mixture with jam mixture and let stand for 10 minutes. Top toasted crostini with apricot mixture and garnish with crumbled feta. Serve immediately. Makes 8 to 10.

Don’t get us wrong, we still love tomatoes! Here are our finest fresh tomato recipes for summertime and beyond.

semifreddo

How to Make Semifreddo, Italy’s Dreamy No-Churn Ice Cream

If you’ve yet to make ice cream’s cooler Italian cousin, semifreddo (roughly translated from Italian to mean “half cold”), before, now is the time to whip up a batch. Not only is this dessert delicious with its dreamy, frozen mousse-like texture, it’s easy to make (no ice cream maker required!) and even easier to customize.

Traditionally poured into a loaf pan, frozen and then served sliced like an ice cream cake all grown up, you can also portion the semifreddo mixture into individual bowls, or even simply freeze a batch in a large container and scoop it out, ice cream-style. Starting with a simple vanilla base, the world is your oyster when it comes to flavours you can swirl into the mix.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients:
5 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
1¼ cups granulated sugar, divided
2¼ cups heavy cream (35%), divided
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

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1. In a large heat-safe bowl, whisk to combine egg yolks, 1 cup of sugar,  ¼ cup of cream and vanilla.

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2. Fill a medium saucepan with approximately 2-inches of water and bring to a simmer. Place bowl containing yolk mixture on top and whisk regularly for 6 to 7 minutes, until thickened. Check consistency by dipping the back of a spoon in mixture and run your finger through it; the mixture should form a clean line. If it’s still too runny, continue to cook for another minute or so. Once thickened, remove from heat and let cool, about 1 hour.

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3. Line a standard loaf tin or small baking pan with plastic wrap, leaving overhang.
4. Using a stand mixer, whip egg whites on high speed until frothy. Continue to whip on high speed while slowly adding ¼ cup remaining sugar. Stop whipping once stiff, glossy peaks form. Transfer whipped egg white mixture to a large mixing bowl.

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5. In the same stand mixer bowl, whip remaining 2 cups cream to stiff peaks. Transfer whipped cream to whipped egg white mixture.

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6. Pour cooked and cooled egg yolk mixture into the bowl of the egg white mixture and whipped cream, and fold with a spatula until all three components are combined. Pour mixture into prepared pan, cover top with overhanging plastic wrap and place in the freezer to set, about 4 hours.

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7. To serve, remove from pan, unwrap plastic and slice into thick slabs. Or use a scoop and serve mounded in bowls.

Peanut Butter and Banana Semifreddo

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients:
1 recipe plain semifreddo, prepared prior to freezing (steps 1 through 6, above)
1 cup chunky natural peanut butter (no sugar added)
¼ cup heavy cream (35%)
2 bananas, peeled and thinly sliced or mashed

Directions:
1. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt peanut butter. Transfer peanut butter to a small bowl and stir to combine with cream and bananas.

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3. Line a standard loaf tin or small baking pan with plastic wrap, leaving overhang. Working in alternating layers, pouring one-third of the semifreddo followed by dollops of one-third of the peanut butter mixture; repeat with remaining semifreddo and peanut butter mixture. Cover top with plastic wrap and place in the freezer to set, about 4 hours.
4. To serve, remove from pan, unwrap plastic and slice into thick slabs. Or use a scoop and serve mounded in bowls.

More Semifreddo Flavour Options:

– Salted caramel and diced green apple
– Honey-roasted apricots and dark chocolate shavings
– Macerated berries and mint
– Sautéed plums and crushed hazelnuts
– Lemon zest and crumbled shortbread
– Cocoa powder and chopped roasted almonds

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Don’t touch that oven! Here are even more no-bake desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Braided Pie

3 Pretty Ways to Top Your Pie

As we move away from fruit-filled summer pies and head into fall, it’s time to conquer a classic pie crust and add some decorative designs to our baking bag of tricks. From skinny, wide and braided lattice tops to fluted edges and free-from cut outs, the combinations are just as endless and creative as the fillings inside.

In general, the cooler you keep the dough and the less it’s handled, the better it’ll be to work with. However, this is easier said than done. When rolling out dough or making decorative pieces, limit the amount of kneading as well as the use of additional flour. If the dough becomes too tacky or warm, just pop it back in the refrigerator for a bit. When gathering scraps to re-roll, try to layer them on top of each other to keep the baked crust flaky. Got leftovers? Wrap them well in plastic, and store in the freezer for up to a few months.

Whether you weave an intricate, plaid design or go with a more traditional, rustic top crust, one thing is for sure: you’re going to have one delicious pie.

Braided Pie

Braided Pie
This contemporary design gives great coverage to the top of a pie, but with some extra whimsy. Braid lengths of pie dough together and fit them over the top of the filling. Try varying the widths of the braids and the space in between for different looks!

You’ll Need:
Double-crusted pie dough
Filling of choice
Egg-wash (optional)
Turbinado sugar (optional)

Directions:
1. Prepare bottom crust and fill the pie. Chill for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, roll out top crust to about 1/4-inch into a large rectangular shape.
3. Using a ruler and pastry wheel or sharp paring knife, cut dough into long, 3/4-inch strips. You’ll need about 15 to 21 strips, depending on desired thickness and spacing in between.

Braided Pie
4. Gather strips into sets of 3. Pinch tops of each set together.
5. Keeping strips flat, begin a classic 3-strand braid. Trying not to stretch dough, braid the length of each set of strands. The longest braid should be slightly longer than the diameter of pie pan.
6. Lay braids over pie filling, parallel to each other.

Braided Pie
7. Trim braids so they overhang the edge of the pie by 1/2 to 3/4-inch on each side.
8. Fold excess dough from bottom crust up and over edges of the braids and press together.

Braided Pie
9. To create a fluted edge, pinch the dough between the thumb of your dominant hand the thumb and index finger of the opposite hand. Continue around the entire edge of the pie.
10. Refrigerate pie for 15 to 30 minutes as the oven pre-heats.
Brush with an egg-wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar (if desired), and bake according to your recipe or until golden brown.

Lattice-Pie

Classic Lattice Pie
Think fresh apple pie chilling on a windowsill. This basic design weaves strips of pie dough together to create a classic top crust. The over-under technique is not difficult to master, and once you’ve got it down, the designs are endless! Try weaving skinny pieces or wide pieces, or a combination to create a fun plaid. You could even sneak in a few braided pieces, too.

You’ll Need:
Double-crusted pie dough
Filling of choice
Egg-wash (optional)
Turbinado sugar (optional)

Directions:
1. Prepare bottom crust and fill the pie. Chill for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, roll out top crust to about 1/4 to 1/8 inch into a large, oval shape.
3. Using a ruler and pastry wheel or sharp paring knife, cut dough into 1 to 2-inch wide strips. The centre strips should be slightly longer than the diameter of the pie pan. You’ll need about 6 to 10 strips to create the lattice top, depending on desired width and spacing in between.

Lattice Pie
4. Lay 1/2 of strips over top of filling, all in the same direction.
5. Gently pull back and fold over every-other strip about halfway.
6. Lay 1 strip perpendicular to first set, next to folded edges, then replace folded strips over top of the newest strip to start the weave.
7. From the first set, gently pull back strips that did not get folded during the last round.

Lattice Pie
8. Repeat step 6 with another strip.
9. Continue this over-under motion with the remaining strips until the weave covers the entire top of the pie.
10. Trim strips so they overhang the edge of pie pan by about 1 inch.
11. Gently tuck both the overhanging pieces from top lattice and bottom crust under and press together all the way around the pie.

Lattice Pie
12. Crimp pieces together and press into the edge of the pie pan firmly with tines of a fork. Make sure each piece is secure. Refrigerate pie for 15 to 30 minutes as the oven pre-heats.
13. Brush with an egg-wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar (if desired) and bake according to your recipe or until golden brown.

 

fishtail lattice pie

Fishtail Cut-Out Pie
Once you’ve got your lattice and braids down, try combining both techniques together in this show-stopping pie. A tight lattice covers the centre while a double, five-strand fishtail braid creates the border. A few free-form leaves add extra flair and even hide the seams of the braids.

You’ll Need:
2 to 3 single crust pie dough
Flling of choice
Egg-wash (optional)
Turbinado sugar (optional)

Directions:
1. Prepare the bottom crust and fill the pie. Chill for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, roll out half of the remaining dough about 1/4 to 1/8-inch thick.
3. Using a ruler and a pastry wheel or sharp paring knife, cut very thin strips, about 1/2 inch wide and 7 to 8 inches long. You’ll need about 16 to 20 strips.
4. Following the directions of classic lattice design, weave together thin strips on top of the filled pie, leaving a 1 to 2 inch boarder around the edges. Fold over or trim any overhanging pieces of bottom crust. Place back in refrigerator.

fishtail pie braid
5. Roll out the remaining dough to about 1/4-inch thick. Using a ruler and pastry wheel or sharp paring knife, cut dough into long, thin strips.
6. Gather the strips into sets of 5. Pinch tops of each set together.
7. Keeping strips flat, begin a 5-strand, fishtail braid. Fan out all 5 strips. Taking the furthest strip from the right, cross it over the 2 strands closest to it and place it in the centre of the other 4.
8. Next, take the furthest strip from the left and cross it over 2 strands closest to it and place in the new centre.
9. Continue to braid the length of the braid, bringing the outmost strip over and into the centre.
10. Use braid to create a double-boarder around the pie, from the edge of the pan to the lattice centre.

fishtail pie crust
11. You’ll need several braids per ring. Braid ends of braids together or trim and press to seal. Use bit of egg wash to secure in place, if necessary.
12. With any remaining dough, roll out to about 1/4 to 1/8-inch thick.
13. Use a sharp paring knife to cut a free-form leaves.
14. Use back of a paring knife to score leaf patterns on each leaf.
15. Arrange leaves on top of the pie, or where the braids meet to cover the seams.

fishtail pie leaves
16. Refrigerate pie for 15 to 30 minutes as oven pre-heats.
17. Brush with egg-wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar (if desired) and bake according to your recipe or until golden brown.

fishtail pie finish

Looking for more pie-spiration? Check out these 10 Tips from Bakers for Perfect Pastry Art.